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FRANCIS LANCELOTT, ESQ. Queens of England. Vol.1.

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FRANCIS LANCELOTT, ESQ.
Queens of England. Vol.1.
page 480



prised by a warrant for bis committal to tbe Tower, on the charge of high treason. Instead of submitting hiraflelfj as before, to tbe indulgence of the Protector, he. now boldly claimed to he confronted with his enemies; required a copy of the information, and demanded that birthright of Englishmen, a fair and open trial; but this was a boon inexpedient, if not dangerous, to accord. No overt act of treason could be proved against him ; the young King himself might be compromised in the affair ; and lastly, the conduct of the Princess Elizabeth was implicated in the transaction further than it was thought prudent or delicate to divulge. At length, it was determined to proceed against him by the arbitrary, unconstitutional mode of attainder; several of the nobles on whose support he had relied, rose voluntarily in their places in parliament and revealed the designs which he had confided to them. The depositions before the council of state were declared sufficient for his condemnation, and, despite the opposition of several members of tbe commons, sentence was pronounced ; and on the twentieth of Marcia, 1549, was brought to the scaffold, the too ambitious Sir Thomas Seymour, a noble whose great crime was not treason, for there was no sufficient evidence that he intended injury to the King or the kingdom ; but a bold, futile effort to share with Somerset that power which ho, the Protector, had arrogated to himself. Seymour did not die as others brought to the block in this century had done, owning the justness of their execution. He knew he had been condemned lawlessly, if not unjustly; and as be laid his bead upon the block, he told the servant of the Lieutenant of the Tower to bid his man speed the thing that he wot of. These words being overheard, Seymour's servant was instantly apprehended, and confessed that the admiral had by some means procured ink in the Tower, had used for a pen an aglet • plucked from his hose, and had written a letter to each of the Ladies Mary and jElizabeth, which he sewed within the ! sole of a velvet shoe. The shoe was ] opened and the letters found ; their object, as might be supposed, being to exeite the jealousy of the King's sisters against the Protector as their greatest enemy. Latimer prostituted his holy office by preaching for Seymour a funeral sermon, abounding with falsehood, malice, and sour unchristian censure. " It is evident," says Latimer, "God hath clean forsaken him (Sir Thomas Seymour). Whether he be saved or no, I leave to God ; but surely he was a wicked man, and the realm is well rid of him. He led," says Latimer, in another part of this cruel funeral oration, " a sensual, dissolute, irreligious life, and died in a manner suitable to his life, dangerously, irksomely, horribly." Thus ended this tragedy, which has left a stain on the memory both of Somerset and Latimer, too black and deep for the baud of time to wipe out. We close this memoir with a sketch of tbe career of the only child of Katherine Parr. The high-born infant was christened Mary, and on the death of Sir Thomas Seymour, her last surviving parent, was left in the seventh month of her age heiress to an immense fortune, without a friend to protect her interests or assert her rights. After remaining a short time at her uncle Somerset's house at Sion, she, in compliance with the dying desire of her father, was removed with her governess, nurse, and other attendants to the bouse of the Dowager Duchess of Suffolk, at Grimsthorpe, in Lin cobi shire, where she remained till July, 1519, when we find the sordid Duchess, in an urgent letter, making a second request to Cecil to procure her a pension for the maintenance of the orphan babe ; and declaring that Katherine Parr's brother, the Marquis of Northampton, was too poor to take the child off her hands. The fact was, the Protector and other relatives of the young Mary Seymour had seized upon her patrimony, withholding from her even the plate and furniture of her nursery ; and on that account they were unwilling to give her or her attendants a home ; and a dread of offending tbe Protector prevented others from attempting to do so. Man' Seymour was dis


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